Panama, a word in indigenous language that can mean abundance in fish, trees or butterflies, contains through its mere name a seductive appeal. Unique landform in the waist of the American continent is in many ways, the best-kept secret of the region. As a touristic destination it withholds an unforeseen potential given the infinite amount of development possibilities every day.
Panama is an isthmus bathed by two seas, with thousands of island, butterflies, and orchids. It’s a country full of spirit that has come in modern life and made Panama the banking center of the Americas, with an increasing architecture of skyscrapers. The variety of ecosystems is an invitation for the practice of eco-tourism. For the visitors it’s an opportunity to enjoy hiking through a wide range of national parks. Beyond the opportunities to explore the natural beauties in the jungle and forests, the environment and scenery allow sports such as diving, fishing and sailing through the coastline, beaches, coral reefs, and one of kind islands. Some places even have a large reputation due to their monumental beauty such as Portobelo beach, in the province of Colón, Bocas del Toro, Kuna Yala and its 365 islands; Coiba National Park, the Archipiélago de las Perlas, among other paradisiac places.
Panama City is the capital of Panama and has been traditionally been the political, economical, administrative and cultural center of the Republic. It’s history is intimately related to the construction of one of the wonders of engineering of the XX century, the Panama Canal, as well as one of the largest financial and service center of Latin America. Panama also has a long trajectory as an important headquarter for meetings and events. A city of business by excellence, now a days multiple conferences are held in Panama with participants from all over the world.
The city counts with and center of cosmopolitan art from both national and international artists. Some of these are the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), the Anthropological Museum Reina Torres de Aráuz (MARTA), the Panama Museum La Vieja and the Interoceanic Museum.
The gastronomical choices of the city are wide as you can find colorful establishments of popular food as well as world class restaurants offering Panamanian, Japanese, Korean, European, Chinese, Caribbean, fusion, Argentinian among others. Restaurants are also found in a variety of environments including executive types in the business zone of the City, typical restaurants, in eco touristic zones, as well as international fast food restaurants.
On the south side Panama City is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean waters, and in the north by the forestall reserve of La Cuenca del Canal which make it one of the few cities in the world with national parks and diversity in flora and fauna. This allows visitors to enjoy the journey through the Canal and of other outdoor activities such as fishing, golfing, surfing, eco tourism among others. For the fans of nightlife, the city, given its historical cosmopolitan vocation, it offers a variety of ambiances, including the native, Caribbean, Western, oriental and Middle Eastern, for all tastes.
Places of interest
The National Theater regularly presents concerts, symphonies, operas and dances including folk from ethnic groups. Other attractions include: the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Plaza Bolivar, the Presidential Palace, the Summit Botanical Garden and the Soberanía National Park.
The Calzada de Amador, a set of islands connected amongst each other with view to the Puente de las Americas, and a blue ocean, allows bicycle rides, walking and exercising. It also counts with recreational areas and restaurants of international food and typical restaurants.
The facilities of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute are located here as well as the Marine Exhibition Center, which is open to the public with educational video presentations and live exhibitions of corals, seashells, starfish with the unique feature of interacting and touching the creatures. A telescope is also installed to observe the ships anchored in the bay.
The Metropolitan Natural Park is a tropical jungle where over 200 species of birds, monkeys, reptiles and other animals inhabit. "Mi Pueblito" ("My Little Town") is a live museum built in the city that recreates customs and folkloric traditions. Visitors can enjoy typical food in the restaurant from authentic clay tableware.
Panama City is a privileged shopping center with a variety of options. Form the traditional shopping centers in avenues, to the new and modern shopping malls. The main shopping centers are: Albrook Mall, Mall Multiplaza Pacific, Metromall, Mall Multicentro, El Dorado and Los Pueblos.